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Invited Commentary
May 16, 2019

Bidirectionality of the Association of Vision Impairment With Depression and Anxiety

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham
  • 2Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2019;137(7):801. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2019.1084

In a nationally representative cohort study of Medicare beneficiaries 65 years or older, Frank et al1 report on the bidirectionality of longitudinal associations between self-reported vision impairment and clinically significant symptoms of depression and anxiety. Their finding that baseline vision impairment is associated with incident depression is not surprising given previous research demonstrating the considerable personal burden of vision impairment, which generates reading and mobility difficulties and often leads to driving cessation.2-4 This is well-trodden research ground that continues to highlight the need for ophthalmologists and optometrists to be aware of the psychological burden experienced by patients with eye disease and vision impairment.

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